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Film Review: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

Free analysis essay

The Movie Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first book in a series of history about a young boy named Harry Potter. The author of the book is an English writer J. K. Rowling. The book was first published on June 26, 1997, by the London publishing house Bloomsbury. The book became the basis for the film of the same name. The movie was directed by Chris Columbus in 2001. The main roles were played by 13-year-old Rupert Grint, 12-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, and 11-year-old Emma Watson (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). Many adult roles were performed by the leading British actors such as Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, John Cleese, and others. The film was nominated for three Oscar awards in technical nominations, at the same time did not win any of them. It can be watched by children of almost any age (PG rating from MAP) (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). The paper is a film review, it describes the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as one of the most successful films in the style of fantasy. In spite of the style of fantasy and fairy tales, there are many everyday, ordinary, and exciting episodes in the film the audience loves.

The plot of the film draws the viewer’s attention during the first minutes of the film. The film begins with the holiday in the magical world, the death of Lord Voldemort, a powerful dark wizard. After the murder of Lily and James Potter, Voldemort had to kill Harry Potter, who was only one a one-year-old. Professors Dumbledore and McGonnell and Key-keeper Rubes Hagrid leave Harry on the threshold of his aunts and uncles’ house (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). His aunt is the sister of Harry Potters’s mother. The whole Dorsey family hates Harry and everything about magic. Their son, Dudley, tortures Harry. In addition, they hide from Potter his origin and do not tell him that he is a magician. Dorsey’s family said to Harry that his parents crashed in a car accident. All 10 years he lives in the dressing room under the steps, not knowing the truth (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). At midnight, when Harry turns 11, the giant, Hagrid, enters into the hut to deliver a personal letter to Harry Potter that says that Harry Potter is enrolled in the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogwarts. In school, Harry Potter finds new friends, such as Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom, and gets a sniffer of the unit of Quidditch Gryffindor (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). At the same time, in Hogwarts, Harry learns about the existence of magic and wizards.

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Harry Potter, in addition to acquiring friends, also gets enemies in school, Draco Malfoy and his comrades. He learns that the Philosopher’s Stone is stored in Hogwarts, a stone that can make gold and its owner immortal. It turns out that Professor Dumbledore hid this stone in Hogwarts, especially when he learned that someone wanted to take hold of it. Harry and his friends believe that Professor Snape wants to possess this stone, at the same time, in the end, he realizes that he was wrong when he met Skvirells teacher in the storage room (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). Squirrel tries to kill Harry but he does not succeed after he touches Harry Potter, his body collapses and the soul of Lord Voldemort, who parasitized it, comes out of the body. It turns out Lord Voldemort is alive and wants to get a stone to regain his flesh.

At the end of the movie, Dumbledore tells Harry that he destroyed the stone, that Voldemort would not try to capture it. Dumbledore tells Potter why he could not kill Squierell, it turns out Harry is guarded by ancient magic, the magic of Love, the curse of which was imposed on him by his mother (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). At the same time, Dumbledore replies that he cannot tell the truth until he gets older. Going on vacation, home to the Dursleys, Harry on the platform receives a gift from Hagrid, a photo album with photos of his parents.

It should be noted that the film has everything that the audience needs, why it loves such movies like fantasy, magic, the struggle between good and evil, adventures, bright characters, and a fascinating plot. The world represented in the film is magical, invented. At the same time, it is very similar to the ordinary world in which every spectator lives and the actions that take place in modern times (Fowkes, 2010). Just like in ordinary life, children go to school, do homework, they have favorite and unloved teachers, and, importantly, even in a magical world, they need to make efforts to succeed. Everything looks like in the ordinary world, at the same time with an admixture of magic, and, therefore, children simply identify themselves with the characters (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). The world invented by the writer J. K. Rowling is realistic, thought out, which in general is a hallmark of good fantasy (Fowkes, 2010). It is worth noting that the fantasy world can be not only a refuge but also an internal point of equilibrium, a source of mental strength for every spectator.

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The investigation of the phenomenon of fantasy necessarily touches upon the question of the reasons for its relevance. J. R. R. Tolkien sees a special functional significance in fantasy. The main task of the genre of fantasy is the satisfaction of certain ancient desires of a person. One such desire is to explore the depths of space and time (Fowkes, 2010). The authors of the fantasy have different ideas about religion and mythology; their own worldview can often be expressed in the works directly (Fowkes, 2010). However, this genre allows authors to present serious ideas in an accessible and fascinating way; the fantasy raises problems and themes that somehow intersect with mythological discourse.

The film Harry Potter is a film in the style of fantasy because it has the main features of this genre. In the film, magic is one of the bright elements of this style, which interests both children and adults. Magic is a good way to attract the viewer’s audience with unusual adventures and events that do not happen in everyday life (Fowkes, 2010). The magic in the world of Harry Potter is associated not only with the concentration of the wizard but also with the feelings he experiences at the time of magic creation. Some light spells, for example, Patronus, work out only when the wizard feels strong positive emotions (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). Fantasy movies are a combination of history and myths.

Harry Potters’s film is a fantasy story about the magic school and mythical elements, such as a magic wand and invisible objects. In ordinary life, it is impossible to meet children with magical powers. However, the watcher can see the magic in the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. According to J. R. R. Tolkien, fantasy is a style of hope (Fowkes, 2010). In the film, the viewer actively watches and co-operates with the events that occur in the life of the main character and expects a happy end. When the film finishes, the audience sees an end, however, there is also a hint that the happy story has a continuation and the audience should wait for many more magical surprises.

Analyzing the film, it should be noted that the history of Harry Potter is an intertwining of genres of a fairy tale (magic) and fantasy (fiction). At the same time, we can talk about the overall wonderful atmosphere of a fairy tale, which encompasses fairy-tale characters, fabulous time, and space (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). From the genre of fantasy works, J. K. Rowling inherited the epic narrative and some initial tragedy. In the very beginning, Harry Potter remains an orphan; he is forced to suffer, living in the house of his aunt (Fowkes, 2010). The hero of fantasy must fulfill his/her mission, whatever it costs them; however, he is given the right to choose, which generates contradictory, living human images. For example, the mission of the main character, Harry Potter, is to destroy a dangerous and evil wizard. Until he does it, people will remain in a constant state of threat to their lives (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). However, as mentioned above, the main hero can stay away and do not realize what he was destined for; at the same time can choose another way and fight against evil. In the work about Harry Potter, the viewer can observe one of the features of the fantasy genre, such as the possession of honor, courage, and justice by the main character. He even studies at the faculty known for his brave disciples. J. K. Rowling mixed reality and fiction through the fairy-tale veil of real countries, places (Fowkes, 2010). However due to the fantasy distortion, they acquire a kind of mysterious color. For example, the entrance to the magical Lane is in the center of London in the backyard of a small bar, and to enter the Ministry of Magic one needs to use an ordinary, unremarkable phone booth that functions as an underground elevator (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). The diversity of the world of fantastic creatures that occur throughout the narrative is the last thing that the genre of fantasy combines with the work of J. K. Rowling. There are elves, centaurs, winged horses, hippogriffs, grind slow, and snouts in the film (Heyman & Columbus, 2001). People love to observe unusual events they cannot meet in everyday life.


The film about Harry Potter, as already mentioned earlier, is not only a fantasy; at the same time, it is also a fairy tale. The existence of the differentiated magic wonders performed by the marvelous objects and activity of the main hero is a typical characteristic of a fairy tale, and according to the examples already given, fantastic objects are an integral part of the history of Harry Potter. Therefore, the movie is a combination of the elements of the real world and a fairy rale, which makes it a perfect fantasy, the genre which covers all the elements mentioned above. The movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is one of the best fantasy movies around the world. Spectators like to watch a film in the style of fantasy, especially with unusual stories and fairy-tale characters, which are very close to real life. The film became popular due to the combination of its light and exciting story, in which magic and fantasy have become closely interconnected with a real story of ordinary people which took place in real geographical places. After the release of the film Harry Potter, such a style as fantasy became a more popular genre.


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